White Center Tree Lighting on Sunday to include tribute to Tommy Martin

December 12th, 2019 at 7:20 pm Posted in Holidays, White Center news | No Comments »

(WCN photo from 2018 Tree Lighting)

We told you last week about the White Center Christmas Tree Lighting event coming up Sunday (December 15th). Tonight, we have more information: It’ll start at 5 pm and will include a tribute to Tommy Martin, the local enterpreneur and community advocate who died suddenly earlier this year. The White Center Eagles‘ Christmas carolers will sing, local businesses will provide refreshments, and Santa Claus is expected to make an appearance. And they’ll be collecting food for the White Center Food Bank, so please bring a donation if you can. This will all happen at the mini-park by Mac’s Triangle Pub at Delridge/16th/Roxbury.

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Student’s blanket/coat drive in White Center this Sunday

December 11th, 2019 at 2:53 pm Posted in How to Help, White Center news | No Comments »


From the YWCA:

Looking for a way to give back to your neighbors in need? Participate in the Bringing Warmth coat and blanket drive on Sunday, December 15 at Good Day Donuts in White Center.

Emily Un, a high school senior in West Seattle, organized the drive because of her mother’s personal connection with homelessness, as well as her hope to give back to people in need of keeping warm during these cold months ahead. “I believe many of us don’t realize how much we have in life and that we can give so much back to the people that need it so much more!” explains Emily.

December 15, 2019 | 10 am – 1 pm
Good Day Donuts | 9823 15th Ave SW

Donations from the drive will benefit YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish and Downtown Emergency Service Center.

The drive’s organizer Emily is a senior at Chief Sealth International High School.

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FOLLOWUP: Arrests in robbery rampage that included White Center phone store

December 9th, 2019 at 5:21 pm Posted in Crime, White Center news | 1 Comment »

(WCN photo, November 30th)

On November 30th, we reported briefly on a holdup at the MetroPCS store (15th/100th). Now we know at least two suspects have been arrested in a robbery rampage including that store, another MetroPCS store in Burien, and other holdups as far north as Burien. Both suspects, 17 and 18, were arrested Friday in West Seattle, and other suspects were being sought. Full details are in this report on our partner site West Seattle Blog.

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From LEAD to loos at North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

December 8th, 2019 at 5:55 pm Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news | No Comments »

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

The North Highline Unincorporated Area Council‘s meetings usually yield a wealth of information.

Often it’s not even related to topics on the agenda. For example:

(WCN photo)

Those are the two “Portland Loo public toilets recently installed at Steve Cox Memorial Park. They were mentioned by King County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Bill Kennamer. Two more are on the way.

Now, the main topic:

LEAD: The meeting began with a discussion of Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD), which will start soon in White Center. LEAD addresses “low-level crimes” committed by people who have challenges such as behavioral health, substance abuse, extreme poverty, as explained by the two Public Defender Association reps who spoke, Melodie Reece and Tiarra Dearbone, as well as KCSO Major Jesse Anderson.

It’s been available in Burien and Seattle, “and it only makes sense to close that gap” and have it be available in North Highline, too, said Maj. Anderson. “The bottom line is, we want people to turn their lives around. … It’s a great tool, like many other resources we bring in.” The collaboration with defense lawyers is with “a common goal in mind,” he added. The defense reps offered a history – it started in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood almost a decade ago, in response to the disparity of policing with offenders of color. This has become a national/worldwide model, said Reece. “LEAD is a good way for jurisdictions to try on a new approach.” This can cut recidivism by “up to 60 percent for each individual,” she said, and it “free(s) up police and prosecutors to deal with bigger cases.”

Dearbone explained that it’s a very “individualized” program, jurisdiction by jurisdiction. To make a diversion, first law enforcement will check eligibility, then hand off the client to a case manager. PDA meets twice monthly with law enforcers and talk about specific cases.”It’s a lot more eyes on the individual,” she said. Ultimately, if the person is making progress, prosecutors can opt not to charge them. There’s also a “social contact referral” that law enforcers can point them to – “it doesn’t have to be on arrest for these people.” Case managers would go out looking for the particular person; law enforcers know these people so well, they can often suggest where to find them. “The objective is …. a crime reduction program,” decreasing “their involvement in these law violations.”

What if a client is homeless? asked NHUAC president Barbara Dobkin. If they’d like to be housed, Reece said, they work with them – but often that’s not their first priority. Housing is pretty scarce right now, she added. What’s the capacity of the program? an attendee asked. Optimally, 20-25 clients per case manager, but it’s “well above that” in Seattle right now, said Reece. They’re also deciding who will be WC’s service provider. Right now in Burien, added Dearbone, they have 16 active cases.

Public money plus private donations fund the program, Reece said in response to another question.

When is it starting in White Center? “Pretty soon,” replied Reece, but they have to find a service provider for the case-management work via an RFP process. Dearbone said they’ve used REACH in Seattle and Burien but want local decisions on that.

How long do they follow people? “As long as they need,” said Reece.

When do they decide if it isn’t working? It’s up to prosecutors to decide whether to charge someone or not.

Currently they have almost 800 clients in Seattle. LEAD costs “significantly” less than the criminal-justice system’s regular process, said Dearbone. Maj. Anderson said not only are they helping the person, but likely preventing further crimes. Reece said businesses and individuals can make “social contact referrals” too. The people involved in LEAD are suspected of very low-level crimes and also have to NOT have a “significant criminal history,” they said.

What about emphasizing a specific problematic area, like downtown near the County Courthouse? asked Dobkin. Seattle Police have a lot of emphasis in the Pioneer Square area, said Reece, but many of the problem people there are not LEAD clients. “It’s a really tough location. … being close to that area, we really feel it too.” But, “we’re only one piece of the service-provision puzzle.” Dearbone added, “There’s still a need for” other programs, beyond their scope, which is crime reduction. Maj. Anderson said everyone in KCSO in this area should be trained in January, February, and then they’ll make decisions in the field.

How is it working so far in Burien? Well, they said. Dearbone gave an example of an emphasis involving the Burien Safeway, and they diverted a couple people who were breaking the law just to avoid going hungry.

“We gotta do something, because what we’re doing now isn’t working,” said Deputy Bill Kennamer. He can arrest somebody, take them to jail, but that person may be put back out on the street without even spending the night in jail.

Case managers have the right to professionally care about people who need someone to care about them, Reece observed.

Got questions? Contact the PDA..There was talk of bringing the reps back in six months or so for an update.

CRIME UPDATE: Deputy Kennamer’s title is now Community Crime Prevention Deputy. Of November, “a particularly rough month for violent crime. We have a crew running around people like crazy – violent takeover robberies.” But “that crew is being worked on.”

There’s a new hookah lounge at 1st/108th, site of a drive-by shooting last month, he noted. Bartell Drugs in WC was robbed on November 5th, a pharmacy holdup. He also listed a variety of cases involving guns, one with a suspect as young as 14. Part 1 – major – crimes are up “quite a bit”; vehicle thefts are “through the roof.” Not clustered anywhere – it’s all over the “unincorporated lowlands.”

Robberies at marijuana stores were a topic for a while; Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design could help, said Kennamer.

“Positives” – a nuisance house in Myers Way has been addressed; then he mentioned the new Portland Loos, noted above. He also had warm words for the Department of Local Services cleanup program (showcased earlier in the week). A Top Hat problem property has some changes on the way.

NOXIOUS WEED PROGRAM: Marta Olson from the county talked about the Healthy Lands Project, which is “focused on going into new conservation lands …that usually have a high weed burden” and need some initial attention to clean up before they can be used as parks/open space. The program’s had a big focus on urban areas andd has a “lot of funding available to acquire lands or easements on lands.” That means grant opportunities, or even identifying future parks. The main focus of her appearance: Seola Pond, “a really beloved informal park.” DIRT Corps has been paid to clean out blackberries, grants have gone to community leader and pond steward Scott Dolfay, and as previously announced, a big volunteer effort was planned this past Saturday.

P.S. Looking for info on noxious weeds? kingcounty.gov/weeds

FIREWORKS FOLLOWUP: Councilmember Joe McDermott was reported to have told a constituent the council will take up a proposed ban in January. Right now, passing a ban would stll mean it doesn’t take effect for a year. Local legislator Joe Fitzgibbon said the Legislature could take up something to waive that waiting period. But it needs community support. A discussion ensued – “every year it seems to get worse an worse and louder,” observed Dobkin, suggesting a vote on whether NHUAC should formally support the proposed ban. The motion passed.

COMMUNITY ANNOUNCEMENTS: White Center Kiwanis is selling cans of mixed nuts for $20 …The baked potato/taco bar dinner with New Start High School is January 16th, 5:30-7 pm in the gym, at the school (on SW 120th).

RIP, DEPUTY COX … The 13th anniversary of Deputy Steve Cox‘s murder was Monday. He was NHUAC president as well as deputy. “He will always, always be missed,” Dobkin said. Deputy Kennamer said Deputy Cox’s son is 16 years now and active in sports.

NO JANUARY NHUAC MEETING … since the first Thursday is the day after New Year’s Day.

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SURVEY: Southwest Seattle Youth Alliance wants to hear from you

December 7th, 2019 at 8:08 pm Posted in Health, Online, White Center news | No Comments »

The Southwest Seattle Youth Alliance needs your input to help gauge community attitudes toward youth substance use. You can help by answering this year’s online survey ASAP – in English here, en Español aqui.

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White Center’s new school board director Aaron Garcia takes office

December 6th, 2019 at 11:56 pm Posted in Education, Highline School District, White Center news | 2 Comments »

At right in that photo provided by Highline Public Schools is Aaron Garcia, elected in November to represent White Center and vicinity on the School Board. He took office Wednesday. Also announced by the district:

The Highline School Board has a new leader. During the December 4 board meeting, the board elected Angelica Alvarez as the new board president.

Alvarez has was first elected to the board in November 2009, representing neighborhoods in Burien.

“I am excited and honored to serve the Highline community in this leadership role,” said Alvarez. “In this role, I will continue to advocate for all our students, schools and families.”

Bernie Dorsey was elected to serve as the board vice president. He has served on the board for more than a decade and was most recently the board president. Dorsey represents neighborhoods in the Normandy Park and Des Moines communities.

Garcia won the District 1 seat with 53 percent of the vote.

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White Center’s 2019 Tree Lighting – plus Holiday Market! – set for December 15th

December 4th, 2019 at 1:58 pm Posted in Holidays, White Center news | 2 Comments »

(WCN photo from 2018 Tree Lighting)

The date is set for this year’s White Center Tree Lighting – and a Holiday Market is happening that evening too, for the first time. Here’s the announcement we received today:

White Center is hosting its first annual Holiday Market, on December 15th at 4 pm, in tandem with the Tree Lighting! It will take place in the business district with holiday marketplaces in two locations (at Miss Sheryl’s Ballet & Drunky Two Shoes BBQ). there will be featured local performers, and specials all up and down the heart of White Center!

Local artists of handmade items (please no MLM) wishing to participate in the market are encouraged to contact Sheryl at onpointmom@gmail.com for more information.

The Tree Lighting in the mini-park outside Mac’s Triangle Pub will happen that night at 6 pm.

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WHITE CENTER SUMMIT: You’re invited on Saturday

December 4th, 2019 at 10:05 am Posted in White Center Community Development Association, White Center news | No Comments »

The White Center Community Development Association invites you to the annual White Center Summit this Saturday:

The White Center Summit is on December 7th, 2019, 9:00 am-1:30 pm at Evergreen High School.

The Summit will center issues of displacement and housing in our White Center community. Community members are invited to gather to receive updates about efforts around housing issues, share their experience around housing issues and/or successes, connect with different resources in the community, and define system changing solutions together as a community. This is also an opportunity to discard of your hazardous waste such as any sort of batteries, oils, and glues as there will be a WasteMobile truck present. There will also be breakfast, lunch, interpreters, child care, and raffle prizes provided at this event!

Evergreen HS is at 830 SW 116th.

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VIDEO: Helping keep downtown White Center clean, new King County Conservation Corps gets media spotlight

December 3rd, 2019 at 3:25 pm Posted in King County, White Center news | No Comments »

Though it’s been at work for almost two months, the King County Conservation Corps got its official moment in the spotlight today, as a lineup of political and community leaders hosted a media briefing and cleanup event. Here’s our video of the entire 20-minute briefing, plus some Q&A:

Those speaking included King County Executive Dow Constantine, County Councilmember Joe McDermott, Natural Resources/Parks deputy director Lorraine Patterson, and White Center Community Development Association executive director Sili Savusa. The KCCC was explained as a five-member team that is out on cleanup patrol five days a week – four in White Center, one in Skyway, with other urban unincorporated areas to come. The county has authorized a six-month pilot program, currently set to run through April, at a cost of about $125,000. They’re partnering with the nonprofit Millionair Club to provide the workers, who are earning $18-$20 per hour. They had some extra help after the briefing:

After the briefing, we got some additional specifics about White Center. Right now, the crew is working on an area bounded by Roxbury and 100th, 14th and 17th. It could expand further south as time goes by. This is all under the umbrella of the semi-new Local Services department, whose director John Taylor was also part of the briefing. We asked Constantine during the briefing if the continued beefing-up of what LS provides means the county has given up on what used to be the insistence that WC would have to be part of a city someday; he said no, that’s still the long-range plan, but right now it’s in charge of providing services so they want to do the best they can.

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THURSDAY: Learn about LEAD at North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s December meeting

December 1st, 2019 at 7:58 pm Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news | No Comments »

It’s a hot topic in criminal justice – LEAD. If you have questions, be at this month’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council to get answers. Here’s the announcement:

When: Thursday, December 5, 2019 at 7 pm
Where: North Highline Fire Station at 1243 SW 112th Street in White Center
(Parking and Entrance are in the Back of the Station)

The Opportunity to Be Informed, Involved and Heard – Because Our Community Matters!

NHUAC’s last community meeting of 2019 is sure to be an important one. We will be joined by KCSO Major Jesse Anderson and Tiarra Dearbone and Melodie Reece of the Public Defender Association (PDA), the moving force behind LEAD® (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion). The PDA recognized that a policy problem resulted in people of color being disproportionately arrested for drug crimes.

In a 2011 NPR interview about LEAD®, former King County Sheriff Sue Rahr said, “…the focus here is to spend our limited resources wisely. It makes more sense to devote the greatest amount of resource into fixing the problem. We have seen that punishing people out of drug addiction is not effective. Now, with that said I want to be clear – this is a system where you use the carrot and the stick. We still have to have the stick. There still has to be a legal consequence for not going along with the program, but we want to offer the carrot first because the carrot is less expensive and more effective.”

The LEAD® National Support Bureau describes LEAD® as ”a community-based diversion approach with the goals of improving public safety and public order….” It empowers law enforcement to offer drug treatment, housing and other opportunities to people facing arrest and prosecution for low-level drug offenses and prostitution. LEAD® was first launched in 2011 in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood and recently started in Burien. Now, LEAD® is coming to North Highline. Wonder why we have been chosen to have LEAD® in our community?

Deputy Bill Kennamer will be back to update us about what has been keeping KCSO busy in North Highline.

Community involvement and input are essential to the success of LEAD® and North Highline.

Everyone Is Welcome! Please Join Us To Learn, Share and Help Make North Highline a Healthier, Stronger Community!

December 5, 2019 at 7 pm

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WHITE CENTER WEATHER: Icy bog

December 1st, 2019 at 7:54 pm Posted in Weather, White Center news | No Comments »

Thanks to Gill for the photo – the White Center Bog iced over as temps dipped below freezing over the weekend. Now that clouds have moved in, it’s warming up … a little.

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White Center phone store robbed

November 30th, 2019 at 11:48 am Posted in White Center news | 1 Comment »

Deputies are looking for four people – reportedly masked, with at least two guns – who held up the Metro PCS store at 15th SW/SW 100th this morning. Deputies are still there investigating, so the store is closed right now. They told us no one was hurt.

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‘The Beating Heart’: Benefit show Friday

November 28th, 2019 at 8:22 pm Posted in How to Help, White Center news | No Comments »

Looking for something to do post-Thanksgiving? 6 pm Friday (November 29th) at Drunky Two Shoes BBQ in White Center, you’re invited to rock at “The Beating Heart”:

A Benefit for Life Center NW, Paws NW Harvest, and Mary’s Place.
Featuring
Stoic FB
Celia
Virginia Street Revival
5 Miles Wide
Kevin Redlich

Ticket info here.

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Planning a new Evergreen High School: Time to talk design!

November 26th, 2019 at 10:41 am Posted in Evergreen High School, Schools, White Center news | 1 Comment »

It’s a start! From Highline Public Schools:

Bassetti Architects kicked off the design process with the Evergreen High School building design committee on November 21.

This small working committee of staff, students and community members dug in deep to brainstorm what their school of the future will be like. They began by focusing on how a new school building could support student strengths and needs, guided by Highline’s bold goals for students.

NEXT STEPS

The committee and architects will tour some other new high schools in the region to gather ideas and preferences.

The small, working committee, representing staff, students and community members, will continue meeting with the architects this school year.

COMMUNITY MEETINGS

We look forward to fall 2020 community meetings to get feedback on initial schematic design work from you.

BACKGROUND

The 2016 bond pays for initial design of Evergreen and Tyee high schools and Pacific Middle School. Approval of a bond is required for their construction. Stay tuned for updates on all three design projects this year.

MORE INFORMATION

You can track progress on the Evergreen High School Design bond project information page.

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First White Center Community Pop-Up Market celebrates what’s, and who’s, local

November 23rd, 2019 at 3:37 pm Posted in Arts, People, White Center news | 1 Comment »

Learn while you shop the first-ever White Center Community Pop-Up Market (9630 16th SW until 5 pm). “Resisting Displacement” is the theme of the event organized by the WC Community Development Association. You can meet local makers like Dylan and Marigold:

You can also learn about longtime local businesses:

Among those participating – Ana Castro of Salvadorean Bakery:

The market features a variety of items – some edible, some wearable:

As the original announcement noted, “White Center has always been an innovative, creative, and culturally rich community and this pop up market intends to celebrate that richness in our community in order to resist the displacement that is happening.”

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CAMP SECOND CHANCE: Church sponsorship will extend Myers Way stay at least through March 2021

November 22nd, 2019 at 10:32 pm Posted in Myers Way, White Center news | No Comments »

(West Seattle Blog photo, June 2019)

From our partner site West Seattle Blog: The city of Seattle has struck a deal with Fauntleroy Church to sponsor Camp Second Chance, and that means at least another year for the tiny-house encampment on Myers Way. LIHI will remain the camp’s operator, but the church will lease the land on which the camp sits. The lease won’t involve any monetary exchange between the city and church, and the church is strictly forbidden from any kind of religious activity at the camp. This was announced at last night’s city-convene meeting about the camp’s future; read the full WSB story, which includes meeting video, by going here.

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Be part of the plan: Your next chance to get involved with North Highline Subarea planning

November 18th, 2019 at 11:56 pm Posted in King County, White Center news | Comments Off on Be part of the plan: Your next chance to get involved with North Highline Subarea planning

Thursday’s your next chance to meet with David Goodman, who’s working on the North Highline Subarea Plan. His latest update:

I will be holding field office hours on Thursday, November 21 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the White Center Library (1409 SW 107th St). Please stop by if you’d like to chat about anything related to the Subarea Plan. I’ll be in one of the meeting rooms toward the back of the building – look for the guy with the maps! If you are unable to make it to the library at that time, I’d be happy to coordinate a meeting or call separately – my contact info is at the bottom of this e-mail.

My colleagues and I are currently refining our first draft proposals to share with the community during the next phase of public engagement, which we anticipate will begin in early December. We consider these proposals to be conversation starters rather than final products and look forward to receiving the community’s feedback and ideas.

The North Highline Subarea Plan survey, available in English and Spanish, will remain open through Thanksgiving.

Haven’t responded to that yet? Go here!

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UPDATE: Driver hits pedestrian on 16th SW

November 16th, 2019 at 6:38 pm Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news | 5 Comments »

(WCN photo)

6:38 PM: Thanks for the tips (206-293-6302 text or voice any time). 16th is blocked north of 107th in White Center after a driver hit a pedestrian. Deputies told us at the scene that the male victim was taken to Harborview.

10:47 PM: KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Abbott tells us the man who was hit in a crosswalk is 50 years old. He was assessed as being in serious condition when taken to the hospital; the crash investigation continues, but the road has reopened.

ADDED MONDAY:
As noted in a comment, the victim’s family says he is 66 years old and in critical condition. A crowdfunding campaign is under way to help.

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PROTEST: Black Excellence in Cannabis demonstrates in White Center

November 16th, 2019 at 6:05 pm Posted in Businesses, White Center news | 1 Comment »

On our way to a late lunch in White Center this afternoon, we spotted these demonstrators on the sidewalk west of Uncle Ike’s, so we stopped for a photo and a few questions. They are members of Black Excellence in Cannabis, a group “protesting the exclusion of African-Americans from the economic opportunities created by the legalization of cannabis.” There’s more background here, contending:

The “Social Equity” proposal the LCB has recently submitted to legislators is completely inadequate. African-Americans are an endangered species in the cannabis industry and the LCB has stooped to a new low of over exaggerating and inflating their demographics to make this injustice look less shameful.

As an organization we are focused on achieving fair representation for African-Americans in the cannabis industry. Many of our members were medical providers in Washington, and were prevented from obtaining retail cannabis licenses from Governor Inslee’s, Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board.

Here’s a big-picture look at the inequity problem.

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HOLIDAYS: Shopping @ White Center Library Guild’s bazaar/book sale

November 16th, 2019 at 12:36 pm Posted in Holidays, White Center news | Comments Off on HOLIDAYS: Shopping @ White Center Library Guild’s bazaar/book sale

Whatever you’re looking for, you just might find it at the White Center Library Guild‘s bazaar and book sale, on until 3 pm at the library (1409 SW 107th).

Proceeds benefit library programs.

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